Donald K. Ross, Leading Public Interest Lawyer, Dies at 78

A Ralph Nader acolyte, he galvanized students in the 1970s and promoted social change through legislation, legal action and political pressure.

Donald K. Ross, who as an innovative and pragmatic public interest lawyer and philanthropist galvanized a generation of students into doing good, died on Saturday at a nursing home in Salisbury, Conn. He was 78.

His wife, the poet and novelist Helen Klein Ross, said the cause was lymphoma.

Mr. Ross was one of the original Nader’s Raiders, the group of two dozen or so freshly minted law school students mustered by Ralph Nader in the early 1970s to challenge government and corporate bureaucracy. It grew into a national network of consumer crusaders.

In an email, Mr. Nader said Mr. Ross had built “sustainable democratic institutions with an extraordinary civic personality of resilient stamina, motivating skills and relentless focus on results.”

Honing the strategies he devised as student body president to revive Fordham University’s

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Energy & Environment.

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